Skip to main content

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

See other formats


famous formula., not to the enemy—but to one of the Allied nations. It
was obvious that Churchill had abandoned all hopes of impressing the
view of Britain and the United States upon the Soviet Government,
namely., that Poland should be restored as a free and independent country
without being deprived of any of her population or territory,
From the summers 1942., the Polish Government in London became a
source of embarrassment to the British Government. During 1940-1941,
that Polish Government had been of the greatest value to Britain., for it
had possessed the utmost moral credit in world opinion and a certain
strength of armed forces, particularly as regards the Air Force, which had
played such an essential role in the Battle of Britain (Polish names were
to be inscribed along with British in the memorial chapel in Westminster
to be erected in hono jr ofc The Few *) and its navy., whose share in the
Battle of the Atlantic had been " out of proportion to its size/' not to
mention the land forces, whose renown had rung throughout the A£rican5
Italian and European campaigns. When Britain had developed her
armies,, and had decided at Teheran to change her European policy, the
Polish Government merely became an embarrassing guest in London, a
guest who had, it seemed, out-stayed his welcome. After Moscow had
begun to turn the screws to its utmost capacity, London at length capitu-
lated over the Polish question and began to wish the Polish Government,
a source of continual annoyance to Moscow, had never existed. The
statesmen of Downing Street had imposed pressure on the Polish Govern-
ment in order to force it into placing the Underground Army at the dis-
posal of the Soviets. When the latter replied by exterminating this Army,
London limited its activities to forwarding the Polish Government's com-
plaints to Moscow, and only recognised the Polish Home Army as an
Allied Force through the sheer weight of public opinion. Despite the
fact that this recognition had not the slightest influence on the Soviet's
action of destroying that Army, Downing Street had nothing more to say.
As events developed, and with Moscow's increasing pressure, London
was giving in more and more. The very existence of the Polish forces
righting alongside the British became a delicate problem for the Foreign
Office, and Churchill in his previous speeches had repeated Moscow's
plan, which aimed at uniting the Polish forces fighting with the British
with those e Polish' forces created in Russia. To this end, Britain
supported Moscow's attempt to disintegrate the Polish Army by com-
pelling its Government to sack their Commander-in-Chief, General
Sosnkowski. After the nomination of General Bor, whom, it was obvious,
could not Lave left his command in Warsaw at that stage, the Poles were
forced to leave the position of Commander-in-Chief vacant for the time
being. Thus the Polish Army found itself without a Commander, a
situation which was definitely opposed to the tradition of the Polish people
and the Constitution of their State.
The Polish forces on the British war fronts in 1944 were to become a
345